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Bill Frist's GOP: The Party of Cut-and-Run

Not since the 1919 Black Sox have we seen a more determined effort to throw a game than that of the current Republican leadership.
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Not since the 1919 Black Sox have we seen a more determined effort to throw a game than that of the current Republican leadership. The Keystone Cops routine performed by Hastert, Reynolds and Shimkus seems designed to exacerbate and extend the Foley scandal as much and as long as possible, while the stupidly self-destructive deflections of White House Press Secretary Tony "Naughty Emails" Snow and GOP surrogate blowhard Matt Drudge (blaming Foley's downfall on "these 16 and 17 year-old beasts") couldn't have been more outrageously scripted by the satirical mind of Jesus' General.

If the GOP wants to ensure a Democratic sweep in November, this is exactly how to do it.

Yet apparently, political ambition knows no bounds, for even in the midst of this unrelenting firestorm, the title of Republican Idiot King continues to draw stiff competition, most notably today from outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a man who has made a hobby of repeatedly dashing his presidential hopes on the rocks of his own political mediocrity.

Speaking at a U.S. military base in southern Afghanistan, Frist warned that the Taliban guerrillas will never be defeated militarily, arguing that "you need to bring them into a more transparent type of government."

"Approaching counterinsurgency by winning hearts and minds will ultimately be the answer," Frist said. "Military versus insurgency one-to-one doesn't sound like it can be won. It sounds to me ... that the Taliban is everywhere."

That's the Republicans for you: the party of cut-and-run.

It is quite possible that Frist's assessment is basically correct -- that at this point in the conflict, after the Taliban has been allowed to regroup and rearm while President Bush committed our forces to his personal grudge with Saddam Hussein -- that a military solution is no longer feasible in Afghanistan... if it ever was. But that's besides the point.

The point is that the GOP's number one man in the Senate could possibly be so stunningly, politically tone deaf.

With the leaked National Intelligence Estimate report suggesting that our war in Iraq has only increased the terrorist threat, and with Watergate "hero" Bob Woodward making headlines by finally joining sixty percent of his fellow Americans in understanding the Bush administration to be delusional, disorganized and fundamentally dishonest, this is exactly the wrong time for "Leader" Frist to tell the American people that the greatest military power in the history of the world cannot defeat the ragged extremists who harbored our al-Qaeda attackers.

Unless, of course, your goal is to convince the American people that the Republican Party is simply incapable of leading: incapable of winning the war in Iraq or in Afghanistan, incapable of fighting the war on terror... even incapable of what should be the relatively routine task of protecting House pages from being groped by a congressman in a Capitol Hill restroom.

It is hard to believe that this is in fact the Republican leadership's goal... that the people who have "led" our nation for the past six years really want to lose the November election. But the alternative explanation is even more disturbing.

[Read more from David Goldstein at]

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